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The mountains are calling you for Spring Break, and we know all the fun things to do!

From hiking and sunset chasing to dinner theaters and museums; from water and amusement parks to zip lines, mini golf, and roller coasters, the Great Smoky Mountains have something for everyone.



Anakeesta, located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg with mountain views, has three new adventures open now.

Stone Village expansion includes the Hellbender Smoky Mountain Coaster and BirdVenture, an immersive and educational space for children. These and the Enchanted Christmas were part of a multi-year $34 million expansion “marking a significant milestone for the destination, securing its reputation as a unique adventure experience with unforgettable thrills and immersive educational encounters with unforgettable views of the Smokies.”

Seating at the Bar

“From day one, our mission at Anakeesta was to deliver on an experience that embraces nature, seamlessly blending the landscape and breathtaking views to create unforgettable family memories,” said founding partner, Bob Bentz, “As a must-visit destination in Tennessee, we are dedicated to continuously enhancing the guest experience. With irresistible thrills, entertainment, and immersive adventures, our park has become a can’t-miss destination for visitors seeking the ultimate Great Smoky Mountain escape.”

“Stone Village will transport guests to an enchanting European inspired realm that’s been meticulously designed to embody the timeless charm of an old-world era. Within the village, guests can shop for specialty merchandise at Fur Trader, the largest retail shop in all Anakeesta.

Alpine Eats

Guests also will enjoy Alpine eats and treats at a themed eatery while taking in live music and entertainment year-round. The first phase of Stone Village was completed in 2023.

Families will have a real hoot with the opening of BirdVenture, an aviary-inspired adventure zone where guests play and imagine life as a bird in the Smokies. Explore three colorful, larger-than-life bird houses, a dozen interactive adventure zones, and seven giant serpentine slides with light features that will wind more than 50 feet down the mountain! This unique series of slide paths marks another first of its kind in the U.S.

Guests seeking more adrenaline can hop on Anakeesta’s new heart pounding double-rail mountain coaster, Hellbender Smoky Mountain Coaster. Named after the salamander species native to the Smoky Mountains, Hellbender will offer guests an adrenaline-pumping ride as they navigate a steep mountain incline, slither through twists and turns, and take in breathtaking scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hellbender will wind guests down 3,350 feet of track and through 90-degree, 270-degree turns and a 360-degree spin before returning to the summit of Anakeesta.

This Spring Break visitors also  can enjoy Anakeesta’s Shamrock Celebration March 14-17th. Anakeesta’s take on St. Patrick’s Day will feature all things Irish including bagpipers, dancers, a green waterfall and seasonal food and drinks.

For more about Anakeesta, check out our blog post.

Take a Scenic Drive on Your Spring Break

Driving in the Sunset

As America’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains offers something for everyone.  A scenic drive offers the chance to get close, but not TOO CLOSE, to nature during your Spring Break.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Just outside of Gatlinburg is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail (open April through October). This mountain auto tour is 5.5 miles long and offers some amazing scenery. See well-preserved historic buildings at your own pace. With nature trails and hiking trails sprinkled throughout your drive, you can drive a little and hike a little throughout the afternoon. Mountain streams and old growth forest will take your breath away.

Spring Break in Cades Cove

Tree in the Smoky Mountains

A classic Smokies drive is the Cades Cove auto loop.  Open from sunrise to sunset daily (closed to cars Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10 a.m., May through September) this drive is not to be missed!  An 11-mile, one-way loop offers a huge collection of historic cabins, mills, and churches for you to see at your leisure. Arrive early and you’ll get a chance to see wildlife, too!  Cades Cove is known as being the best place to spot a black bear in the park! Make sure to pack a picnic lunch and you can spend all day unplugged and in nature together as a family.

Black Bear

Cades Cove look to be busy the day you want to visit?  Never fear.  We have a list of places you can visit as an alternative!

Take the Scenic Route

If one-way loop drives aren’t for you, you still have options in the area as well!  Driving Newfound Gap Road to the Tennessee-North Carolina state line and seeing the famous Appalachian Trail is always a crowd pleaser.  The nearby Blue Ridge Parkway runs 470 miles through the mountains all the way to Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia. The Foothills Parkway now connects Wears Valley to Happy Valley.  No matter what you want to see, there’s a scenic drive in the area to suit your needs!

Visit Ripley’s Attractions on Spring Break

Ripley's Believe it or Not

Ripley’s Attractions in the Smokies dominate downtown Gatlinburg.  With the Believe it or Not! Museum, you can walk through three floors packed with more than 500 exhibits and artifacts in 16 themed galleries.  Joyfully billed as the “Weirdest Place in Gatlinburg”, you can spend hours of fun interacting and learning on your Spring Break.

If you want to see how you stack up against the world record holders in the world, you need to see the Guinness World Records Museum.   With more than 20 interactive games and challenges, you can try your hand tons of interactive challenges.

The start of the Ripley’s Attractions downtown has to be Aquarium of the Smokies.  At this amazing aquarium you get a chance to see a wide variety of marine animals from all over the world.  Arrive early and watch divers interact with live sharks in Shark Lagoon. Watch a feeding show and learn about colorful coral reefs multiple times per day.  Enjoy the begin shows and learn about the warm weather African Penguins housed at the aquarium. There are even hands-on exhibits where you can touch a jellyfish, stingray, or shark!


Wonderworks of Pigeon Forge

If you’ve got kids who love to run, jump, and play Wonderworks is the perfect destination!  With so many hands-on exhibits to engage the senses, kids can learn and have fun on their spring break.  Six different Wonder Zones of discovery encourage kids to run at the speed of light, stomp aliens back to their home planets, and even give kids the chance to crawl into a replica of a one-man spacecraft.

Dig’n Zone

Dig’n Zone is scheduled to open in Sevierville in March.

“Kids of all ages will have a blast operating real construction equipment! Our goal is to provide a great entertainment value for families to enjoy real construction equipment while fostering family cohesiveness in a safe and fun environment. Our unique venue will provide memories and bucket-list items for children as well as adults.”

The largest construction-based theme park with more than 25 attractions spread over 27 acres. The family-centric theme park is a place where children and adults can spend a full day operating various construction equipment. There are excavators, skid-steers, rollers, forklifts, loaders and many other rides.

Dig’n Zone will have a stage in the center grassy area to offer events such as concerts, school group performances, corporate events, etc.

Attractions with fun names such as Boogie Buggies where two kids can site side by in an electric SUV and cruise around a track by themselves; and The Decimator, which is Powered by a 50,000-pound CAT 320. This “spinning monster will make you second guess your dinner choices!”


If you’re a fan of muscle cars, you need to check out Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum in Sevierville.  There are more than 90 cars inside and 5,000 artifacts in the museum.  From classic to modern, you’ll find it all.

In Gatlinburg, check out the Hollywood Star Cars Museum.  See some of the best well known cars from classic and modern movies.  Inventory is always changing, but a few on display right now include the entire collection from The Fast & Furious!

Meet your favorite celebrity, or at least their wax doppelganger, at Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge.

The Tennessee Museum of Aviation in Sevierville is a must see for the kid who loves airplanes.  Explore the 50,000 square foot hangar and even take a photograph behind the wings of a plane.

It’s hard to miss The Titanic Museum on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.  This amazing attraction is a half-size replica of the real ship.  While the real Titanic met her demise in 1912, the one in Pigeon Forge is still going strong.  The Titanic Museum presents special audio tours just for kids. Check out our bog post.

Miniature Golf Anyone?

Sevierville offers Ripley’s Old McDonald’s Farm Mini golf, located just past the Pigeon Forge city limits.  Two courses for 36 holes of family fun for kids of all ages.  Get a hole in one and you win a free game!

In Pigeon Forge, check out Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf.  Like Old MacDonald’s, you have two courses.  Ride a mine train to get to the first holes of each.

Gatlinburg offers Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf and Hillbilly Golf. Hillbilly Golf an unforgettable downhill mini golf experience.  A Smoky Mountain classic to be sure!

Check out our blog post on all the fun mini golf!

Dinner and a show – a classic Pigeon Forge entertainment option.

Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show is one of the newest shows in the Smokies. “Join the most famous pirate, Blackbeard, and his quartermaster, Calico Jack, as they lead the Crimson and Sapphire crews in a battle on land, on deck, in water and high above full-sized pirate ships in an indoor hideaway lagoon! Be amazed by beautiful mermaids, tropical birds, and much more all while you enjoy a fabulous four-course feast. Arrive early so your kids (and you!) can “Join the Crew” with the pirate and mermaid makeovers!”

Dolly’s Stampede is the true original.  Each ticket includes a four-course meal and pre-show entertainment.  A live animal show full of singing, dancing, and stunts will really get your blood pumping.


For more dinner shows, see our blog posts.

Spring Break in Dollywood

Speaking of Dolly Parton, spring break would be amiss if you didn’t visit Dollywood.


Dollywood Theme Park opens March 9 with the I Will Always Love You Music Festival, which runs through April 21. Dollywood’s Splash Country opens May 11.

New at Dollywood this year will be The Dolly Parton Experience. It will feature interactive elements to make guests feel as if they were alongside Dolly as she journeyed from Locust Ridge to stages around the world.

“Housed in multiple buildings, the multi-faceted Dolly Parton Experience includes exhibits which span her iconic career, the inspiration and results of her biggest dreams, the importance of her family, and even a curated exhibit that highlights Dolly’s signature style through the years.”

Dollywood is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd. in Pigeon Forge.

Dollywood’s traditional rides and crafts are all available throughout the spring break season. Country Fair staples like Demolition Derby, the Carousel, and Scrambler are always popular.  For the bigger kids and teens, Dollywood also has a fun selection of roller coasters and thrill rides, like the 21-story Wild Eagle or the oldest coaster in the park – the kitschy Blazing Fury.


Family on The Water Slide

Wild Waterdome Indoor Waterpark is open year-round! The 66,000-square-foot-indoor waterpark is located at River Lodge in Sevierville, TN, and features a see-through-roof that bathes the entire park in natural light and actually allows guests to tan – and tropical plants to flourish – all year!

The Wild WaterDome is also home to the Storm Chaser thrill ride, Great Wave wave pool, Smokies Surf Rider, indoor tube slides, a Magnolia Grove hot spa, Runaway Canyon family thrill slide and Washout Mountain play and spray structure.

Outdoor parks open soon too!

Lake Wilderness Outdoor Waterpark, also located at River Lodge, features Treehouse Springs and the NEW Cabana Forest! Some of the areas tallest and greatest slides are at the lake – The Wall, Wild Vortex and Cyclone Racer. There’s an expansive pool deck, in the wave pool or laying back on a tube in the lazy river. The slides open April 2, the rest of the park opens April 30.

Soaky Mountain Waterpark is an outdoor water adventure that opens May 14 with slides, rapids, Flowrider surf system and watercoasters.

Book Your Spring Break in a Cabin

Check out our cabins for large groups in this blog post.

Search cabins by size at American Patriot Getaways or call and talk to one of our experts 800-204-5169 to find the best cabin for you and your family.

Find a Cozy Cabin for your Smoky Mountain fall adventure today! Check out our Smoky Mountain Travel Guide for more adventures. Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

As always, be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway.  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

Rocking Chairs on a Deck
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